We came back from Florida with the most awful post holiday blues and within a few days back I had booked a mini break away for the end of November in Somerset with the hubster, J, Lexi and some friends. We had been 6 years ago for the hubsters 30th and although I’m not usually a fan of going to the same place twice the price was very reasonable and the hot tub was the selling point for the group. Although many people shudder at the thought of no phone signal I love it, and although they have internet now there is no phone signal whatsoever so quite a good cutoff from the world (although we found ourselves checking out social media on occasion!)
We chose the end of November for a couple of reasons; November is probably the worst month in the calendar for weather, dark days and poor health, and the other is that on the 30th November both the hubster and J have their birthdays. What better excuse to get away and enjoy some time together in the great outdoors?
We arrived pretty late on Friday night as we all had to work and there was a fair bit of traffic on the road. Before we left the hubster and I had decided to have Saturday as their birthdays as we knew their actual birthdays would be spent driving home. As soon as we put J to bed we set to work on decorating and wrapping the final presents whilst we waited for CJ and DC to join us with a yummy lasagne for dinner
Of course it would be rude not to spend some time in the hot tub so the 4 of us went in and had a good old chat. There’s something pretty surreal about being in a hot tub in the middle of Winter looking at the stars with a cold face but toasty body – though I didn’t particularly like the walk (run) back into the warmth of the lodge!
I didn’t sleep well at all on Friday night, CJ and DC slept downstairs in the double and we had J in our room whilst we slept on the singles. J was finding it difficult to adjust in a new room and bed so kept waking throughout the night and at around 3-4am a little face appeared at the side of my bed asking to get in with me. The rule at home is a firm no, but when we are away I don’t mind her sleeping in the bed with me, as long as it doesn’t interrupt the hubster. The only problem sharing a single bed with a tall toddler is the arms and legs everywhere and I found myself awake on a teeny bit of the bed whilst she sprawled out! That’s love for you…
At 630am on Saturday morning we decided it was time to get up and open presents. This year J really seemed to understand the whole present thing and spent lots of time choosing which one to open and opening them. We realised in the year she didn’t have much in terms of ‘activity’ games that she could play with us, so we made a point of buying some and she’s played with them ever since we got home
Saturday bought with it horrid weather, I’ve not seen that much rain and wind for a long time, so the group consensus was to take J into the hot tub in the morning and hire out the on-site swimming pool in the afternoon. When we told J we would be taking her into the hot tub (we said to her Jacuzzi) she got so excited and bounced around the room. I’ve never seen her get undressed so quickly and she was soon in the hot tub with her daddy for a few pics before I joined them. I really enjoyed being in a steamy hot tub in the pouring rain in winter with J giggling and it’s definitely one of those moments I’ll remember
The swimming pool had never been hired by us before and because the complex was very small the group didn’t have high expectations but actually it pleasantly surprised us all and we spent a good 2 hours splashing about and enjoying some quality time away from technology (although I had to take a few photos and we had the music playing from a phone!)
J and I seem to have a real bond when it comes to water, she listens to everything I say, has complete trust in me and I spent a lot of time teaching her swimming with the noodle as she didn’t have any bodily floating aids. She also gained the confidence to jump in and used the side of the pool to pull herself along. She grew once more with complete confidence and throughout the 2 hours I had many proud mum moments
In the evening we had a Mexican feast and birthday cake (and cheesecake for the hubster!) and more time in the hot tub. As we all had a rough night previously and were tired from swimming we were typically hardcore thirtysomethings and were in bed before 11pm, with me retiring first at 930pm. I am so rock and roll!
By the time Sunday came around I was getting a little stir crazy. I like to get out and about and explore areas, and if it had just been me on Saturday I probably would have explored the local area and Exmoor, but you could tell the hubster and the group really didn’t share my enthusiasm for the wet and windy Saturday so thankfully we chose the better day of the two!
We set off for the National Trust Dunster Castle (with the promise of cream teas to keep hubster sweet!) knowing the castle itself wasn’t open but other areas were, although when I enquired at the premises the team member advised that all but one of the areas on the website that stated they were open were actually closed. The promise of a cream tea was fading fast and the mood was changing so we decided to park in Dunster Village, have a walk and then head to a tea room
The weather was fine…until we parked up and then it started raining and the wind started howling! I had spotted a tower on the hill as we drove in and made it my mission to find it following the castle blunder, so we set off into a hilly forest, minus CJ and DC, to find this illusive tower that I was determined to locate. Approximately 3/4 a mile walk up a very hilly path in wind and rain, with a few photos and some Gruffalo make believe fun, we found the tower! I have a very tolerant husband, I could tell he wanted to be indoors and out of the horrid weather but he wanted to stop me from climbing the walls so went along for the journey (you’ll note he was in a hoody and not a coat too…)
We spent a bit of time wandering in and around the tower, trying desperately to see through the low cloud for the view but it just wasn’t happening. Finally we set the camera up for a group photo before heading back to see CJ and DC at the café they had found. A hot chocolate and cake later and everyone was ready to head back to the lodge for a feast, more hot tub time before bed and the journey home on Monday
Every time we go away I say J has grown up and this time was like no other. Admittedly, I went away with a 2 year old and came back with a 3 year old and that in itself sounds like a lot but actually she came back with more confidence in the water and once again better speech and pronunciation. We arrived home a little under the weather and very tired, but it’s a small price to pay for some amazing memories and I’m on countdown for our next time together as a family unit over Christmas
Here are a couple of family photos from the weekend…
Also linking up for whatever the weather linky with Chloe and Jenny!